Fully funded EPSRC PhD Scholarship on ‘the Security and Policy Challenges Facing Innovation and Technological Cooperation in Outer Space’ starting October 2023

Lancaster University

Qualification type: PhD in International Relations

Funding amount: The studentship is for 3.5 years, and covers Home (UK) tuition fees and stipend at the UKRI minimum currently starting at £18,622

Apply: Postgraduate Research Lancaster University  

Lancaster University is offering an exciting EPSRC-funded PhD scholarship that includes tuition fees (Home) and a stipend at the UKRI minimum. 

We are looking for a highly motivated doctoral candidate to join our community of researchers and students working in the field of security and defence. This PhD focuses on the security and policy challenges facing innovation and technological cooperation in outer space. The studentship is for 3.5 years, and covers Home (UK) tuition fees and stipend at the UKRI minimum currently starting at £18,622. 

About the project 

The research is timely as the commercial space sector seeks to grow at a time of geopolitical unrest, diverse approaches by governments to space (government as a developer, customer, and partner) and the race across major nations to become a space superpower, not least in the UK. 

The research will explore the dynamics at play in terms of challenges to governing public-private partnerships in a transnational operating framework (states, corporations, supply chain, value chains), which entails geopolitical and regulatory challenges as well as the need for responsible entrepreneurship. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to adjust and finalize the research objectives and design along with their supervisors. 

The research will address a critical space security issue which is of national and international importance. The research will approach the space ecosystem security challenges from an interdisciplinary context (international security, management, policy, law) with input and support from technical experts. The rationale for this is that the space sector requires non-technical support, guidance, and tools to be able to address the security issues within the sector supply chain. The outcomes of this project have potential to influence and support Government and businesses to develop security best practice. 

The position is in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) and the candidate will also be affiliated with the Security Lancaster Institute, which is Lancaster University’s multi-disciplinary hub for security research with expertise ranging from cyber security to policing to future war and warfare. Lancaster is also home to the Security and Protection Science Initiative and is one of a small handful of universities nationally to be recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre as an Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research and Cyber Security Education. The candidate will be supervised by a multi-disciplinary team of experts in international relations and security, law, management and STEM, and benefit from our network of business and government partners . 

Eligibility and entry requirements 

We are seeking applicants with a strong background in International Relations (e.g., International Security, Strategic and Defence Studies). Expertise in International Law (e.g., space law, export law) or Business and Management (e.g., outer space entrepreneurship, defence sector and supply chain) is an asset. We are particularly looking for candidates with knowledge or experience of researching the space sector or outer space security and defence and those with a multi/trans-disciplinary background in Politics, Security, Law, Management, etc. 

The expected minimum entry requirement is a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent and a postgraduate degree with Distinction or Merit or equivalent. This call is open to UK/Home fees applicants only. 

How to apply 

You can find information about how to apply for the scholarship on our website: www.lancaster.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research . When submitting clearly state that you are applying to an EPSRC-funded PhD hosted by the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion. Formal applications should be made in the form of a CV, an example of academic writing (e.g., publication, coursework, commentary), and a personal statement no longer than 800 words explaining a) your interest in the project, b) your experience, c) why we should consider your application, d) how you intend to address the research objectives and how your profile fits with this PhD project (in particular its multi-disciplinary element). All applications must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 30 June. Shortlisted candidates will be formally interviewed to allocate the scholarship in the second half of July on MS Teams. 

Please contact Professor Basil Germond (details on departmental website ) to discuss your interest in this fully funded PhD.

Further details

  • This scholarship will commence in October 2023 and is open to UK/Home fees applicants only.
  • Interviews will be held online by the host department (PPR) in July 2023.
  • The deadline for scholarship applications is 5pm GMT on 30th June 2023.

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